WHILE most fashion labels now carry the obligatory "Made in China" tag, there is a small groundswell of designers using Australian manufacturers.
Three Melbourne labels, Zoe Elizabeth, Extinct and Lisa Barron, are sticking to their guns and continue to have their ranges produced in Australia.
Besides the benefits such as having better control and being able to do smaller runs, the designers say that knowing their lines aren't produced in sweatshop conditions in Asia is a big advantage. All three are also passionate about keeping jobs and creativity in Australia.
Zoe Weir, designer and creator of Zoe Elizabeth, began producing bikinis four years ago from Liberty print fabric and has ventured into daywear.
Although the swimsuit fabric is sourced overseas, everything else from design to production is done in Victoria.
"Having my range manufactured in Melbourne allows me to have control over the quality and be there every step of the way," Weir says. "I think the Zoe Elizabeth customer likes to know that they are getting a limited edition piece that is made in Melbourne and not mass produced. I enjoy the wonderful manufacturers that I work with and feel as though they continue to help and support me every step of the way."
Simon Foretti, owner and designer of Extinct, is proud of his support of local manufacturers.
"There's way less chance of miscommunication, because if there is a problem you go to the factory and see it direct; and it is extremely difficult to sort out problems long distance," he says.
With her label nearing its 30th year in Australia, Lisa Barron sees a swing back to local production as Chinese manufacturers increase prices.
Although unlikely to outstrip the popularity of clothes made in China and India, the demand for locally produced clothing with a low carbon footprint is on the rise.
So when you can buy Australian made or at least buy from online stores located in Australia as it does help to keep Australians working - even if they do import product like us.
This article is from the Australian Newspaper and shared with you today. Link to the paper is at the top of the article.